Seattle School Staff, Public Agencies and Parents Work to Meet Children's Needs

What can a school do when a child isn't getting needed medical treatments? Thanks to the Seattle Child Health Initiative, elementary schools in two areas are not only identifying problems such as this, but taking action to help.

For example, a nine-year-old girl who had a serious leg injury needed evaluation and fitting for a brace, but she kept missing appointments. Instead of just recommending to the parents that the child see a doctor, the initiative's Expanded School Intervention Team (Expanded SIT) met with the mother. They found that she faced two major barriers to getting her daughter to the hospital: language and transportation. The team arranged for a cab driver not only to transport the family to the hospital, but also to walk them to the appropriate clinic where they could connect with an interpreter.

Who is served?

The initiative serves children in six elementary schools in southeast and central Seattle who have health or social service needs that are not being met.

Communities everywhere are looking for ways to build their capacity to respond to the needs of children and families, rather than build systems that are based simply on targeting problems."—Healthy Children, Youth and Families in King County: Data Summary and Guide to Community Planning, June 1995